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History of Tattoos - Ancient Art

Author: Bob Matheson

conventional idea is that the tattoos were done for healing motives. Oetzi's fifty-seven tattoos are located over various joints on the body. The theory is that the tattoos were created as a form of acupuncture was applied to relieve painful joints. Today, the identical sites are used for acupuncture. Other ideas range from social status and ritual markings to tribal marks or just preference.

Combined on his backbone and at the back of one knee and on one ankle, the Ice Man had about fifty-seven tattoos. Even though it's impossible to do more than speculate as to the actual rationale for them, it emphatically indicates that tattoos should not be seen as exclusive to the current period.

Seeing that the Ice Man was the most ancient mummified human remains found in Europe, today's tattoo affectionados have history on their side-- there's nothing "modern" about the history of tattoos.

Ancient Egypt

The Egyptians have one of the most recognized ancient cultures for tattoos. Dating back to 2100 BC, discovered mummies have been found to be adorned in a variety of tattoos. Women flaunted tattoo artwork that were limited to women only. These patterns were generally a sequence of lines and dots around the body. Tattoos among the Egyptians are thought to have been types of ritual markings.

Oriental Tattoos

In Japan, tattoos were originally employed on clay statues. These human shaped figures represented a deceased individual and have been discovered in the sepulchres of the individual they resembled. The tattoos were carved or painted on the faces of the figures. It is believed that these designs have religious or magical meaning. The figures have been found to be in burying places that have been dated from 3,000 BC.

Japan's earliest documented tattoo is from 297 AD and has been shown to be for decorative purposes only. Tattoo artists were called the "Horis" in Japan. The Horis were recognized as masters and ultimately created the full body suit tattoo.

Although Oriental symbols are extremely trendy for tattoos in America, it is not commonly known that both the Japanese and Chinese cultures have maintained a fervent antagonism to the ritual of tattooing throughout history. With both societal and religious viewpoints in agreement that tattooing is something which should not be done, it is nevertheless considered to be a way of contaminating one's body. For the ancient Chinese, tattooing was employed as a penalty for criminal activity, putting such visible marks on a person to forever brand that person as having the status of a law breaker.

Tattoos have been found to be present in times past all over the world. They have been shown to be a statement of an assortment of things such as social status, religious conviction and often just for adornment. Found on males and females alike, tattoos have been discovered in every shape, dimension and color pattern conceivable. No matter if they have been found to be something that was previously held sacred or they're for decoration only, tattoos have been here for ages and will continue to be here for ages to come.

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